This is a war which we cannot afford to lose and must win for a new beginning !
--BY MADAN LAMSAL
Who is the most powerful - China, America, Russia or Europe? That question is now outdated. Right now, it is the Coronavirus, the Novel one, that is the most powerful in the world. More powerful than even the two-thirds majority government of ours. This invisible organism has been a pain in the neck for the entire world! This is the superpower that has outsmarted and outplayed the so-called most powerful people in the world - Trump, Putin, Xi Jinping. This microorganism has brought the world to a standstill. What a power?
Just because of the coronavirus, families are facing misunderstandings and separations as well. News reports say that in Europe husbands and wives are fighting as if it were World War III at home and filing for divorce. Corona forced them to stay inside home together for long and they found so many defects in each other that they decided they cannot live together any longer. But wait. Look at the flip side as well. Thanks to the Corona, past enemies have started becoming friends. SAARC, that was just short of being declared dead seems now reviving. Corona is causing a cataclysmic change. All our systems (economic, political, healthcare, social relations), that defined how we work, how we react with each other and how we think are in shambles. What a revolutionary power!
In every country of the world the roads wear a deserted look and towns have become ghost towns as if the world is coming to an end. Things our lives revolve around… work, gym, malls, movies, society have all gone for a toss. People are fighting for things that look quite trivial for a normal life at normal times. The police and administration the world over are trying at a war footing to make available toilet paper, sanitizers and food stuff.
But, though the whole world is scared of the corona virus, we Nepalis don’t seem that much scared yet. We brave Nepalis! Yes, Nepal government is seen a little scared after a girl who came back from France was found coronavirus positive. Before, that the government and Nepali people were not very positive to believe that Nepalis also may get virus positive. Anyways, thanks to the lady to scare all of us to come to our senses. The problem is that the enemy can't be seen, and Nepal doesn't have technology to make it seen so far.
Though the Chinese wanted us to help in that our government was not prepared to receive the support initially. Perhaps it was scared to receive anything from China, the country from where the epidemic started.
But now the government seems to have relented and accepted the Chinese help. And it seems it is doing something more as well. It has issued directives after directives which urge the people to wash hands and not to come out of their homes unless very urgent. Yes, the people’s minds are filled with questions and doubts about what the government is doing.
But they should not voice them because that will disturb the government that is waging this war. It is our war and we should help the government to win it for us.
Anyway, the main and important question now under the self-quarantine is not virus but how and where to get enough fuel, food and other edibles, and water and other drinkables? Will the supplies ministry maintain a smooth supply of goods? Many consumers are still not getting gas and other essentials despite the government’s order in this time of crisis. What will happen if poor people without food start coming out of the homes to find the food and drink inside the bungalows? No, no. Don’t ask these questions. We have to help the government win this war.
Meanwhile, businesses have also closed down. Businessmen are demanding that the government give them a ‘Corona Relief Package’. But what will the poor government do? It is already worried thinking that it’s going to be quite tough to pay the salaries and allowances to government employees as its revenue collection has been hit hard by the closures of the businesses.
You may wonder why the provincial governments cannot do something. They seem at peace. Because they cannot do anything. They did not do anything in the past, nor can do anything now. So much so that some provinces are finding it quite tough to even to give themselves their names and capitals. Why? The standard answer they give is same - 'the federal government is not cooperating! '
The people of the world are, in a way, fighting a war of existence. But this war is not between countries or people. Even it is not a war between people and pollution, but between human and pathogen. May be the virus wants us to learn a lesson or two? Perhaps it wants us to remind that we are all equal, regardless of our income, position, religion, colour, race, caste and creed, etc. It wants to remind us the importance of our health. It wants us remind that we are all connected to each other in the nature. The whole world is in an ecosystem. It is reminding us about the shortness of life.
In this war, our life is in our hands. Therefore, let’s wash our hands with soap and water. Let’s keep our minds, hearts and surroundings clean! Let’s do business but let’s not resort to black marketeering. Let’s not fight the coronavirus in such a way that we lose the war. We don't need to go into the battlefield to win this war. This war can be won by just staying at home. The model of fighting a war has also changed. But to win, we have to follow the rules that the virus experts or doctors are saying. This is a war which we cannot afford to lose and must win for a new beginning! But are we all listening? Hello!